Busybody- Grand Theatre, Blackpool
When an apparently dead body vanishes without trace minutes after already seemingly moving from one room to another even the most accomplished amateur sleuth in the audience must begin to realise that all is not going to be what it seem.
Playwright, song composer and West Yorkshire rhubarb grower Jack Popplewell may have been frowned upon in critical circles for his run of theatrical hits spanning the late 1950s to the early 1970s but he knew a thing or two about spinning a yarn.
Forget your Miss Marples and think instead Mrs Mopp – in the shape of office cleaner Lily Piper, played endearingly and with good comic timing by Erin Geraghty. Like Columbo clad in overalls she remains one step ahead of the predictably slow witted and long suffering (he’s got a bad cold) Detective Supt Baxter (former Emmerdale stalwart Peter Amory).
Everyone comes under suspicion at least once – cuckolded businessman Richard Marshall (Martyn Stanbridge) and his unfaithful wife Claire (Tracy Shaw), devoted assistant Marion Selby (Michelle Morris), dizzy secretary Vicki (Gemma Bissex), junior business partner Robert Westerby (former Grand Theatre youth arts programme artistic director Paul David-Gough), Detective Constable Goddard (Jez Edwards) and even Mrs Piper herself.
One thing is for sure you will have had to have seen the play before to even come close to predicting how it’s all going to unravel. And even then you might be wrong.